Is Gaza once again on the brink of war?

To take stock of the recent escalation in Gaza and international stabilisation efforts


Yasmeen El Khoudary, Gazan Researcher

Donald Macintyre, Journalist and Author

Hugh Lovatt, ECFR Policy Fellow

Chaired by

Beth Oppenheim, Centre for European Reform (CER)

To take stock of the recent escalation in Gaza and international stabilisation efforts, the discussion will explore the thinking on both sides, future trajectories, and what a sustainable solution could look like.

The Gaza Strip seems once again to be on the brink of conflict. The prospect of an Egyptian-UN facilitated ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, and the promise of economic development for Gaza, had momentarily staved off an immediate return to war. But renewed escalation along the Israeli border, and a doubling down on hardline rhetoric on both sides, could now derail these efforts. Caught in all this has been Gaza’s society which has remained resilient despite worsening socio-economic conditions. Is another war in Gaza inevitable? Should stabilisation efforts be conditioned on intra-Palestinian reconciliation and the return of the PA? What should Europe’s role be?

Yasmeen El Khoudary is an independent Palestinian researcher currently based in London. She is a postgraduate student in Cultural Heritage Studies at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, with a focus on the archaeology of Gaza. While in Gaza, she was also highly involved in cultural initiatives for youth including Diwan Ghazza, the Palestine Literature Festival, among others.

Donald Macintyre was the Independent’s Jerusalem bureau chief for eight years between 2004 and 2012, and before that he was political editor and chief political commentator. He is a former presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster. He won the Next Century Foundation’s Peace through Media Award in 2011 and has previously been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Journalism and for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. He is the author of Gaza: Preparing for Dawn (2017).

Beth Oppenheim is a researcher at the Centre for European Reform. Her recent publications include Beyond firefighting: An EU strategy for Gaza (June 2018). She is also the co-host of the CER podcast. Before joining the CER, she worked as a senior researcher for the political historian Anthony Seldon, and as an advocate and caseworker at the Hackney Migrant Centre in London.

Hugh Lovatt is a Policy Fellow with the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), based in London. He co-led a 2016 Track II initiative to develop detailed parameters for a two state solution. He also co-authored ECFR’s policy memo: Rethinking Oslo: How Europe Can Promote Peace in Israel-Palestine.